ELMAU, Germany (AP) — 5:27 p.m. (1527GMT; 12:27 a.m. EDT)
President Barack Obama has told a news conference before returning to Washington that G-7 leaders had discussed additional steps they could take if Russia were to “double-down” on aggression inside Ukraine. He says those discussions have been taking place “at a technical level, not yet at a political level,” and said the first step was for the European Union to commit to extending the current sanctions during an upcoming summit.
In a direct jab at Vladimir Putin, Obama said the Russian leader must decide whether he wants to wreck his economy and further Russia’s isolation “in pursuit of a wrongheaded desire to recreate the glories of the Soviet empire.” Obama said it was ironic that Putin has insisted he’s trying to protect the Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine.
Obama said: “Russian speakers inside of Ukraine are precisely the ones who are bearing the brunt of the fighting.”
4:59 p.m. (1459GMT; 10:59 a.m. EDT)
The Group of Seven major economies has pledged to increase vocational training for women in developing countries by a third by 2030.
The plan is part of a series of measures aimed at combating poverty and disease that G-7 leaders backed at their two-day summit in southern Germany.
Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States also announced Monday that they will support plans to better fight outbreaks of deadly diseases, such as Ebola, and aim to lift 500 million people out of hunger and malnutrition by 2030.
4:23 p.m. (1423GMT; 10:23 a.m. EDT)
The Nigerian government says new President Muhammadu Buhari has told France’s leader at the G-7 summit that his country would welcome greater support from other nations in its effort to end Boko Haram’s insurgency.
A government statement said Buhari also said Monday that Nigeria would like more intelligence on Boko Haram’s links with the extremist Islamic State group, its movements and training and the sources of its weapons. It said that, at the meeting with French President Francois Hollande, Buhari reaffirmed his government’s “total commitment to ending Boko Haram’s insurgency in the shortest possible time.”
The Islamic extremist uprising has killed an estimated 13,000 people and forced 1.5 million from their homes.
Buhari took office on May 29.
3:29 p.m. (1329GMT; 9:29 a.m. EDT)
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has warned world leaders that efforts to fight terrorism can misfire if they don’t respect fundamental rights.
Ban told the Group of Seven meeting in Germany on Monday that security measures and even military action may be necessary to combat violent extremists.
But he cautioned that “when counter-terrorism efforts ignore the rule of law and violate fundamental rights — which they do far too often — they not only betray the values they seek to uphold, but can also end up further fueling violent extremism.”
Ban said targeting entire minorities increases bitterness, radicalism and extremism within those communities
3:21 p.m. (1321GMT; 9:21 a.m. EDT)
President Barack Obama says it will take time but Islamic State militants will ultimately be defeated and driven out of Iraq.
Obama says the challenges remain significant in Iraq, where the IS group controls large swaths of territory and recently took the key city of Ramadi.
But the president adds that success against the militants will ultimately depend on an effective international coalition backing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Obama says he’s “absolutely confident we will succeed” if the international coalition supports Abadi and the prime minister has a government that represents everyone.
Abadi thanked Obama and leaders from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies for their support. He also expressed confidence in ultimate victory.
The two leaders commented Monday as they met on the sidelines of the G-7 summit being held in Elmau, Germany.
3:15 p.m. (1315 GMT; 9:15 a.m. EDT)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says there is “not a lot of time” to work out a deal over more bailout money for financially troubled Greece.
Merkel said at the Group of Seven summit in Germany on Monday that Greece needs to agree to take steps to straighten out its finances and economy, as it negotiates with other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund for more bailout loan money.
Greece is dangerously close to running out of money and defaulting on debt repayments to the IMF and the European Central Bank. A default could worsen Greece’s situation and perhaps force it out of the euro
Merkel said that “we want Greece to remain part of the eurozone but we’ve got the clear message that solidarity… requires Greece to implement measures.”
3:05 p.m. (1305 GMT; 9:05 a.m. EDT)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Group of Seven wealthy democracies have agreed that the world should phase out the use of fossil fuels by the end of this century.
Merkel said Monday that the G-7 leaders committed themselves to the need to “decarbonize the global economy in the course of this century.”
That is a technical term for ending the use of oil, gas and coal — but not nuclear power — and replacing them with alternative sources of energy such as wind and solar power.
Merkel had pressed for the G-7 to agree on the goal so it can be put forward at a summit on climate change later this year in Paris. Burning carbon-based fuels such as oil and gas releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is blamed for global warming.
2:58 p.m. (1258 GMT; 8:58 a.m. EDT)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Group of Seven democracies have agreed that sanctions against Russia must remain in place until a cease-fire deal for eastern Ukraine is fully respected.
Merkel, closing a two-day summit in southern Germany, said Monday that the G7 was ready to step up the sanctions later if the situation called for it.
The European Union and the United States have imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its conflict with Ukraine. A cease-fire agreement reached in Minsk has been shaky, with the heaviest fighting in months breaking out in recent days between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.
12:25 p.m. (1125 GMT; 6:25 a.m EDT)
The White House says President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande are in agreement on some of the world’s vexing problems, including Russia’s actions in Ukraine and keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
The two leaders met Monday on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of Seven leading democracies being held in Elmau, Germany.
Obama and Hollande agreed that economic sanctions against Russia should stay in place until Russia fully implements terms of a peace accord with Ukraine. They also agreed to stay united in pursuit of a deal with several other world powers to restrict Iran’s nuclear program.
France at times has taken a harder line and expressed more skepticism than Washington on the Iran talks.
The White House says the leaders also discussed climate change, trade, countering Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, and instability in Libya.
12:20 p.m. (1120 GMT; 6:20 a.m EDT)
Activists have had a hard time sending their message to the G-7 leaders, who are tucked away in a secluded Alpine valley guarded by thousands of police.
So Greenpeace decided Monday to project its demands onto a nearby mountain.
The environmental group used green lasers to beam the words “G-7: Go for 100 percent renewables” onto the side of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak.
Greenpeace climate policy chief Martin Kaiser said he hopes German Chancellor Angela Merkel will manage to convince climate holdouts such as Japan’s Shinzo Abe to drastically cut down on carbon emissions in the coming decades.
11:50 a.m. (0950 GMT; 5:50 a.m. EDT)
The G-7 has opened its exclusive circle to meet with the leaders of Iraq and several African nations, along with the heads of various international organizations.
Key topics of discussion include the threat from terrorism and deadly diseases.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Arabi will brief leaders Monday on his country’s fight against the Islamic State group, while African countries will talk about their efforts to stop the spread of Ebola.
The so-called “outreach” format also ensures that developing countries’ views are heard on global issues such as plans to rein in global warming.
11.15 a.m. (0915 GMT; 5:15 a.m. EDT)
Mystery solved: the mayor of the village where President Barack Obama was served a pre-lunchtime beer says it was alcohol-free.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Obama to Kruen, near the G-7 summit venue, a few hours before the meeting began on Sunday. It wasn’t yet noon, but the president was served local delicacies including a tall glass of beer.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Sunday he didn’t know what kind of beer Obama was served but he was confident the president didn’t order a non-alcoholic version.
Kruen Mayor Thomas Schwarzenberger told news agency dpa Monday that German and U.S. officials had asked that the guests be given only alcohol-free beer, so that’s what Obama, Merkel and her husband, Joachim Sauer, were given.
10:45 a.m. (0845 GMT; 4:45 a.m. EDT)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies are searching for a common stance on climate change on the second and final day of their summit in southeastern Germany.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany is seeking agreement on eventually moving away from the use of carbon-based fossil fuels and an endorsement of goals to limit the long-term rise in global temperatures and provide financing to help countries deal with the impact of climate change. Her idea is to forge a united front going into a conference on climate change in Paris later this year.
Leaders at the annual meeting will also hold discussions Monday on combating terrorism. The G-7 consists of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.
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